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CIA Director Petraeus Warns Al Qaeda's Down But Not Out

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Al Qaeda is a weaker terrorist organization than it was a decade ago but still remains a major threat to national security, according to new CIA Director David Petraeus.

The retired four star general and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congressional lawmakers Tuesday that the U.S. has done much to cripple al Qaeda's ability to operate since the 9/11 attacks.

Petraeus, who just took the helm of the CIA last week, said the terrorist group, which has sustained the loss of leader Osama bin Laden and other top figures in just several months, faces a "window of vulnerability."

Yet, this is no time for complacency, Petraeus warned lawmakers, because despites its losses, al Qaeda and its network of affiliates and sympathizers pose a "very real threat."

Two of the most dangerous new affiliates are al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen and Al Shabaab in Somalia, both of which have spread terrorist acts beyond their own borders.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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